Packaging: Corrugated recovery hits 91%

In 2012, 91 percent (29 million tons) of the corrugated packaging used in the U.S. was successfully recovered for recycling, maintaining its top position as the most-recycled packaging material.

Latest News

U.S.-NAFTA trade is up for sixth straight month, reports BTS
AAR reports annual U.S. carload and intermodal gains for week ending June 17
Digital Issue: The Current State of Third-Party Logistics Services
New JDA survey finds missing link to omni-channel success for manufacturers and retailers
FTR report makes the case for Twin 33-foot trailers in the LTL sector
More News

Latest Resource

Digital Issue: The Current State of Third-Party Logistics Services
It has become quite clear that logistics professionals are now facing an unprecedented set of challenges. From tightening capacity, to ongoing regulation hurdles, to the complexity brought on by e-commerce, today’s shippers are transforming the way they manage their logistics operations.
All Resources
By ·

In 2012, 91 percent (29 million tons) of the corrugated packaging used in the U.S. was successfully recovered for recycling, maintaining its top position as the most-recycled packaging material.

Recovery for recycling has increased steadily since 1993, when 54.5 percent of old corrugated containers (OCC) was recycled.  Recovery is also helped by the widespread access to community paper and paper-based packaging recycling programs.  According to the American Forest & Paper Association’s Community Survey, 87 percent (268 million) of the U.S. population have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs.

Most OCC is used to make new paper products.  Of the 91 percent of corrugated that was recovered in 2012, more than 50 percent was used to make new containerboard.  An additional 12 percent was used to make recycled paperboard and more than 34 percent was exported.

Corrugated and the other paper-based packaging industries set the standard for recovery.  According to the most recent data available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States; 2010 Facts and Figures, the corrugated and paper-based packaging industries set the standard for recovering products from the solid waste management stream.

The table below reflects data drawn from the EPA report and compares recovery rates for several major packaging materials. The data show that corrugated and paper-based packaging have the highest recovery rates among these major commodities.

The corrugated industry continues to support the increased OCC recovery for recycling by:
Modernizing equipment and technology so that OCC can be used at the manufacturing facilities.
Supporting business, community, and school recycling programs.
Developing a repulpability/recyclability standard protocol for corrugated boxes treated for moisture resistance.

For more information about paper and corrugated recycling, please visit http://www.paperrecycles.org.  For information about corrugated packaging’s life-cycle studies and sustainability, visit http://www.corrugated.org.


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Digital Issue: The Current State of Third-Party Logistics Services
It has become quite clear that logistics professionals are now facing an unprecedented set of challenges. From tightening capacity, to ongoing regulation hurdles, to the complexity brought on by e-commerce, today’s shippers are transforming the way they manage their logistics operations.
Download Today!
From the June 2017 Issue
Here are five trends that every shipper­—and potential shipper—must watch as the demand for experienced logistics and supply chain professionals soars.
2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Volume stable, business steady
Cross-Border Logistics: NAFTA tune-up time
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Women in Logistics: Breaking Gender Roles to Win the War for Talent
In this session you'll hear from a panel of women who are now leading top-level logistics and supply chain operations. The panel will share their success stories as well as advice for women who are now making their way up the ladder.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...
The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...